PNL Volume 16


I should like to begin with an apology for the inordinate and
unacceptable delay in producing and distributing the present volume of
the PNL. Members have every right to want and expect more timely
receipt of this, your publication. The reason for the delay is enmeshed
in a larger set of recent developments which affect the Pisum Genetics
It is pertinent at the outset to repeat a point made on several
previous occasions: no small part of the cost of producing the PNL at
the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station over the years has
been borne by the department to which the Editor, "clerk", and
secretaries belong. Since the founding of the PGA in 1969 two
departmental mergers have occurred, both designed to enhance departmen-
tal efficiency and reduce administrative expense in the wake of mounting
operational costs and restricted support. The PGA is caught up in this
struggle and, sparing the reader all of the detail, the reality is that
the department will no longer be able to subsidize the publication of
the PNL by making up the difference between the revenues and actual
costs. We must, in short, become self-supporting.
For convenience, I shall characterize PGA expenditures as direct
and indirect, the latter being expressed as the costs of labor which
have heretofore been absorbed by the department. Our current yearly
direct costs are roughly as follows:
Printing - $350
Postage - $250
Miscellaneous (including bank charges and reprinting out-of-print
volumes) - $250 .
Indirect costs include the time required for various bookkeeping
duties associated with collecting, posting, and depositing of membership
dues as well as executing correspondence related to these activities.
However, the time required to type and retype all edited material repre-
sents the most significant indirect cost. In some instances the
articles undergo 3-4 cycles of retyping. Preparation of tables is
especially time-consuming. Preparation of the finished manuscripts and
assembling them prior to printing is estimated to involve about three
weeks of secretarial time. The bookkeeping activities are estimated to
require 3-5 days. Thus, the cost of about one month's secretarial time
is currently absorbed by the department.
Of course, at present the time devoted by Mrs . VanKirk, our
"clerk", and Mrs. Porter field, our typist, to PGA affairs is not con-
centrated into a single period, but instead must be fitted in as time
permits with their primary departmental duties. Therein lies the reason
for the delay in producing the PNL. A reduction in our secretarial
force together with a greater work load have severely limited the time
the aforementioned can devote to PGA affairs.
PNL Volume 16
Revenues at present derive from two sources: (1) member dues and
(2) a gift from the National Pea Improvement Association (a U.S. or-
ganization representing public and private researchers and private
industry, e.g. seed firms, processing firms, suppliers, etc.) . Dues
generate approximately $600 yearly and the NPIA contribution amounts to
$250, for a total of approximately $850 -$900. All of our income is used
to meet the direct costs mentioned above, leaving the indirect labor
costs which now must be met by our organization. The latter are es-
timated to range from $1000 to $1500 per year.
To become self-supporting, I propose the. following courses of
(1) Increase dues from the current $3.00 per year to $10.00 for two
years. The annual rate, of course, will be $5.00 but the amount is
couched so as to encourage members to pay their dues for two years
rather than one as a way of reducing handling costs. However, given our
small membership, even the substantial increase in dues from $3.00 to
$5.00 will not generate the revenue needed to survive. Nor does it seem
prudent or advisable, for a number of reasons, to increase dues beyond
(2) Seek out benefactors or sponsors willing to contribute sums
ranging from $200 to $500 on a continuing basis. Inevitably, private
industry is considered the leading candidate to approach for support.
However, this potential source already is beleaguered with requests of
this type and patience may be running thin. Moreover, industry may not
perceive our activities to be of sufficient benefit to warrant its
participation. Still, our fortunes seem to rely on identifying one or
several companies or agencies to provide the funds required to sustain
our organization.
Our future is at stake. I call upon members to help find ways to
solve the problem and ensure our survival. Financial independence will
allow us to devote full time to the task of producing each volume of the
PNL and should permit timely completion and delivery.